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For $39 Frontier will guarantee you an
empty middle seat
The middle seat debate continues with Frontier monetizing, rather than blocking, the middle seat. Between May 8th and August 31st, Frontier will offer 18 “More Room” seats up for purchase for $39. This guarantees that no one will sit in the middle seat in your row. We’ve seen other airlines, like American, outright block the sale of middle seat on flights leaving a third of all revenue off the table. Matthew from Live and Let’s Fly had a great opinion piece on the role of middle seats going forward, and personally, I agree with him – it’s impossible to socially distance on a plane so buyer beware.
It’s unsurprising that Frontier, which monetizes nearly every aspect of flying aside from cabin pressurization, bathrooms, and seatbelts, would go this route, and honestly who can blame them…but here’s the thing:
Are Frontier flights, between now and the end of August, going to be so packed that you’ll even need to do this, and will Frontier illustrate which middle seats have already sold, or will they allow both the window and aisle seat to purchase it?
Overbooking isn’t uncommon on flights, and what happens if the passenger on the aisle, who purchased the vacant middle seat, doesn’t show and is replaced with a passenger that didn’t pay for the middle seat? If you chose the window under the premise the middle seat had been paid for already, will they then fill that middle seat as well? This leads me to believe that both window and aisle could end up paying for that middle seat generating $78 per middle seat of revenue.
Also…DOT hasn’t made any changes to policy, but that would preclude the sale of these seats if they institute some kind of distancing protocol on flights.
Personally…I like the idea of economy cabins getting these retrofitted seats rather than just a blocked middle seat…You can read more about them here, but I like the idea of the middle seat being flipped and screens being installed.
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